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The Military's Post-traumatic Stress Dilemma


nivek
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Friend took his life last year. Had recently returned from Iraq, Army Chinook driver, couldn't "wash his mind out".

Because he was on cusp of another back to back deployment, he was not deemed acceptable for treatment on the problems he suffered with.

 

Talking about trying to wash his bird out was very similar to my cleaning the Bus out after a long nasty haulage...

 

Nothing helped.

 

kFL

************

 

The military's post-traumatic stress dilemma

Boston Globe

by Tyler E. Boudreau

 

"With Army and Marine Corps suicide rates climbing dramatically,

surpassing even those killed in Iraq and Afghanistan last month, the

nation is increasingly disturbed and demanding treatment for veterans.

But these suicide reports highlight an important distinction: A

significant portion of those returning from war are not yet veterans;

they are still active or reserve service members, which means, above

all, that they probably will be going back to one of our theaters of

operations. And that means that any treatment for post-traumatic

stress will be positioned in direct conflict with the mission itself.

As a former Marine captain and rifle company commander, I witnessed

this conflict firsthand." (03/09/09)

 

http://adjix.com/5s2e

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I thought the first commenter on the page made a good point.

 

 

So it comes down to the needs of the troops versus the needs of the mission.

 

And what IS the mission, again? "Spreading freedom?" "Nation building?" "Finding WMD?" "Fighting the terrorists?" Was it ever clear?

 

The senselessness of it all can't help in dealing with the aftermath of trauma, I'm sure.

 

 

I think the demoralizing nature of the conflict makes the PTD come a bit easier. Add in being in hostile territory prolonged periods of time and you get the current mess we have.

 

Why did our government and people support sending our military into such a situation?

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Why did our government and people support sending our military into such a situation?

 

http://www.lexrex.com/enlightened/articles/warisaracket.htm

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Guest QuidEstCaritas?
Why did our government and people support sending our military into such a situation?

 

http://www.lexrex.com/enlightened/articles/warisaracket.htm

 

Sigh.

 

He was so right.

 

 

It's stuff like what he describes that makes me deeply ashamed to be American. I wish so badly we would go back to our 1898 era non Imperial ways in regards war. It's just so wrong what has happened.

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Why did our government and people support sending our military into such a situation?

 

http://www.lexrex.com/enlightened/articles/warisaracket.htm

 

No other reason comes to mind. Even the most inept government won't engage in a war unless there is some kind of profit.

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Sigh.

 

He was so right.

 

 

It's stuff like what he describes that makes me deeply ashamed to be American. I wish so badly we would go back to our 1898 era non Imperial ways in regards war. It's just so wrong what has happened.

 

I hate to bring this up, but in 1898 the U.S. was engaged in an imperialistic war against Spain in Cuba. The only difference was who was the aggressor imperialist. Then after the war, American business interests held sway over that economy and society until Castro came along. The entire object of that war was U.S. hegemony in the western Hemisphere.

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Seriously. The U.S. has been playing the imperialist game for at least 60 years. It only seems worse now because Bush abandoned any pretense of pretending that wasn't the objective.

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Our government does not like its veterans. This is proven over and over in conflicts with returning GIs from every war. Promises were made to keep them in uniform but once they get out and demand their benefits, the government places hurdles for them to jump over for benefits. I know, I'm a disabled veteran and I used to work for the Dept. of Veterans Affairs as a Veterans Claims examiner. The law is not there to impede veterans, it is there to force the government to do its job taking care of veterans.

 

The govt. does not do anything out of kindness that is beyond the law. It does so much and then that's it! GIs still in the service suffer a lot on the job. Mental health clinics are a joke because if you go to one while in the military, everyone treats you like a freak for going, then if you don't go and you lose your cool and seriously beat the crap out of someone, or kill them, you get arrested and they blame you for not going to a mental health clinic. I don't know why veterans cannot go to their base hospital for mental health treatment when they need it. Or go to the VA Hospital--currently may turn down GIs that do not have a disability. It makes no sense.

 

Either as a GI or a veteran, if anyone thinks they have a problem they need to talk over with someone, go to your nearest doctor or hospital and get the help you need. The suicide rate among returning veterans is ASTOUNDING and Dept. of Veterans Affairs is having difficulty keeping up with brain trauma and mental health.

 

Any GI that has been in close proximity to any type of an explosion should be evaluated for a brain injury as well. Often, in explosions, brain injury may go unnoticed. One clue is bouts of rage and similarity to PTSD. Some of what you may think is PTSD is in reality due to brain trauma--does a person experience bouts of rage over 'nothing'; is their language littered with four letter words and prone to long periods of ranting and cussing? Seizures? Slurred speech? Changes in vision? Loud sounds or voices 'hurt your head'? Migraines? This person may have brain trauma in addition to PTSD. PTSD is not just from combat. PTSD can occur at anytime to any person that has suffered an extreme emotional or physical trauma at any time in their life. Flashbacks happen to anyone. It gets to be a problem when a person becomes lost in those flashbacks and has troubles coping in the here and now.

 

Like a Vietnam vet, said one time, 'if the government does not like its veterans, then it needs to quit making them.'

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BTW: I was going to add to my post above that many veterans coming out of the military are told they DO NOT qualify for disability benefits. Listen! The people in the military are FUCKING IDIOTS when it comes to knowing who qualifies for a disability and who does not! This was one of the chief complaints I noticed when working for the VA were people who were discharged and 'ordered' not to apply for a disability. Do not take the word of the person in the military that may tell you you do not qualify for benefits. CALL THE VA to find out if you qualify. The VA will send you the application and set you up for a physical exam.

 

One reason the VA is having troubles keeping up is that there are often not enough medical facilities (VAMC) nearby for veterans. The nearest VA hospital to me is around 115 miles one way or much further if I have to go to Omaha, for the eye doctor ... I get so pissed off having to travel for hours just to spend 15 minutes with the eye doctor! I know a vet the VA requires to travel that 115 miles or 230 miles round trip. He got blown up in Iraq by a roadside bomb, it actually killed the crew in the Humvee ahead of him and blew his off the road. For PTSD, the stressor is watching your friends get killed ahead of you in a convoy on a paved road. What does the VA do? They make him drive down the highway to get his medical and mental health care! This is grinding in the stressors with flashbacks everytime he gets behind the wheel of the pickup he drives. I have PTSD but I get seen for mine at the local VA clinic, not a VAMC, that is limited in services it provides only because I am paid at the 100% rate. Why can't the other guy too? It is a game of numbers with the VA: if you fall below a certain percentage rate, your access to care is limited. Because the clinic I go to is so small, not all veterans can be seen there and they only treat those with a disability rating over 60%(?) and give preference to 80% and higher. If you get turned down, keep applying, keep appealing.

 

The VA does pay for travel but they also keep a deduction in that pay, which Pres. Obama got reduced to give veterans more money for gas. The deduction goes towards gasoline in vans the VA uses to transport people who live far away from the VA. This sounds good, right? Not everyone can get a ride; the van is full or you have an emergency after the van leaves. The Federal Govt. should find it within its conscience to build more clinics around the state or allow more veterans to use what is called 'Fee Basis', where the veteran gets preapproved care from local doctors. Fee Basis is given under certain circumstances and a veteran must apply and qulify to receive it. I believe more veterans should be allowed Fee Basis, especially in mental health circumstances when a veteran may not be able to travel to the nearest VAMC.

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My older brother was in the Navy during Vietnam. One of his duties aboard ship was being assigned as a gunner's mate on one of the ship's anti-aircraft gun mounts. 3 in (75mm) automatic twin barreled gun. So what do they do? They make the guys go on firing practice with no hearing protection. As a result he suffered a serious hearing loss in one ear, and much less in the other. He fought the fucking VA for like 8 or 9 years to get some pittance they now send him every month. I forget what the amount is, but it's not much.

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